Keep enough food and potable water (suitable for drinking) on hand to sustain you and your family for at least three days. You may not have access to electricity or refrigeration and water may be scarce. Watch your salt content because salty foods make you drink more water.


  • Foods should require little preparation; avoid things that need water or cooking.
  • Make sure it's food your family will eat.
  • Make sure you have sufficient bottled drinking water and other drinkable liquid, such as fruit and vegetable juices.
  • Pack a manual can opener and utensils in the emergency kit.
  • Include:
  • ready-to-eat canned foods: meats, fruits, vegetables, soup, juice, and milk;
  • high-energy foods: peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars and trail mix;
  • small amounts of comfort foods: candy, sweetened cereals, potato chips, and cookies;
  • dried foods; and
  • instant ready-to-eat meals.


Emergency management content on the Butte-Silver Bow website was developed drawing heavily from and updating the excellent resources offered on the Ready Illinois website produced by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and partner organizations.